A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

A very difficult subject to tackle; abortion from the point of view of many characters. I created a chart to keep track of everyone. The author did a great job with the individual stories and their reasoning for having or not having an abortion. I hadn’t selected this book on my own, it was part of my book club. I went straight into the book without reading the synopsis, so I wasn’t quite sure where I was at first. The story begins by talking about The Center, then a gun-man (George) who gets into the building, and the hostage situation begins. Once George was inside, the story went backward. The end surprised me! There is a lot to think about in this novel.

A Short Story–The Unexpected© Elsa Wolf

Maggie, hunted for the ringing phone, it was under a Smithsonian magazine. A moment passed. She grabbed the phone and looked at the caller ID, it was her son. The reception wasn’t ideal and his voice sounded like he was talking into a tin can. To keep her other hand busy, she took a sponge off a plate and wiped down the kitchen counters.

“Let’s have breakfast together tomorrow,” Joey said.

“Yes, I’d love to,” Maggie replied.

“We need to meet at 8 A.M. by the bus stop, my class schedule is packed.”

Maggie couldn’t figure out why he sounded so insistent.  It wasn’t like him, and it was too damn early, but curiosity won. At the appointed time, they rendezvoused at the bus stop on Connecticut Avenue by the National Zoo. He didn’t say much, other than greeting her with a smile, until they reached the university campus. She thought about when he had first chosen her Alma Mater and the pride welled up again. At the corner of H and 21st Street, the bus pulled up in front of an empty lot where a building had been during her years at GW, but a sign listing future plans stood in its place. On the other side of the road, the Lisner Auditorium still shined with a newer open courtyard flanked with pathways leading up to an obelisk in the center.

Bartholomew Dobbins and the 100 Face Masks, June 2020 by Louise Capon©

Once there was a tailor, named Bartholomew Dobbins, who lived in a small shop on the edge of town.  All day he sewed for the town’s people.  He hemmed pants and dresses, replaced buttons, and fixed jackets to fit like they were custom made.  He made dresses and hats and all manner of clothing.  He even made the bridesmaid dresses when the Mayor’s daughter got married.  It was a fine and fancy wedding and Bartholomew Dobbins was proud to have helped.

But one year, in the spring, there was trouble.  That winter, a wicked virus came to the town and was spreading among the town’s people.  Many folks were sick.  Some had died.  No one knew how to make it go away or how to protect themselves.  The Mayor was very worried and upset.  His job was to take care of the town and the people in it.  So, the Mayor made a proclamation that all people, young and old, should wear masks to cover their noses and mouths when they went out of their homes.  This way, they could slow down the spread of the virus and maybe stop people from getting sick.

Short Story-The Traveling Laptop © Elsa Wolf

Kat stepped off the platform into the first train she found, leading to her destination. It was all she could do to keep focused. She’d traveled over three thousand miles in the last four days. The trip began with a black roller bag that she’d had to replace with an obnoxious pink one soon after the initial phase of the journey. The first one lost its wheels. It was too heavy to carry with her bad shoulder, and the only available replacement made her feel uncomfortable. It was too bright. All she wanted to do was sit down in the train, but she didn’t want to sit next to the first person off the aisle. The last time she’d done that the businessman turned out to be an evangelist, who wanted to heal her by putting his hand on her injured limb. The religious conversation up to that moment was quite interesting.

Book Review

Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving

This classic took time to get into even after I traveled to the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. The fortress grounds and palace were lovely. The book begins with Washington Irving arriving at the Alhambra in 1828, discusses his time there (real stories and legends), and ends when he leaves to take on a diplomatic position in London. The version I purchased on-site for 9 euros has gorgeous photographs of paintings included (ISBN; 978-84-95856-61-6). The information Irving conveyed was interesting, but for me, it was more of a study than a leisurely read.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.com

Short Story – The Event © Elsa Wolf

The flurry of the moment takes over the mood of the evening. The hall is filled with long tables waiting for the final place settings to be adjusted. Scanning the room, I see a young lady sitting at one of the tables twiddling her fingers. I realize it’s my niece, and she appears to be bored. Without hesitation, I walk over and assign her the task.

“All the tables and place settings…”

“Yes,” she smirks, “and all those chairs?”

“The chairs, yes, they are out of balance with the place settings.”

“And?”

“Please, adjust them. Use your mom’s as an example. I have to go over my introductory speech again.” I turn around. My nephew was so close I almost fell over him. The expression on his six-year-old face is pitiful. His elbow is scraped, and droplets of blood are emerging. A tear is running down his face while he politely asks for some Bactine™ and a bandage. Then he grumbles about hating winter and wanting to go back home where it’s warm. I comfort him and look beyond his sister at their father, who is standing by the main door. With long strides, he crosses the room.

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